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For Rosh Hashana, A Matzo Ball Soup By Way Of Mexico

For Rosh Hashana, A Matzo Ball Soup By Way Of Mexico : The Salt : NPR

Matzo Balls With Mushrooms And Jalapeños In Broth (Bolas de Matza con hongos y chiles)

Serves 6 to 8

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Make ahead: The soup can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

This is a Mexican rendition of matzo ball soup, with jalapeños sweat­ed along with mushrooms, adding subtle heat to the broth. The mush­room base is easy to make. It's a wonderful way to dress up chicken soup for the holidays or for entertaining. My maternal grandmother used to season her matzo balls with nutmeg and a bit of parsley. I add a splash of toasted sesame oil, too. Her secret ingredient for making them fluffy was a dash of sparkling water. She used mushrooms of all sorts in the soup, but she was moderate in her use of chiles. In honor of my late grandfather, who was obsessed with chiles, I add a lot more to this soup than she would have.


1 cup matzo ball mix (or two 2-ounce packages)

2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Kosher or sea salt

4 large eggs

8 tablespoons canola or safflower oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons sparkling water

1/2 cup finely chopped white onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2 jalapeño chiles, finely chopped (seeded if desired) or to taste

8 ounces white and/or baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thin­ly sliced

8 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought


  1. In a large bowl, combine the matzo ball mix, parsley, nutmeg, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. In another small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with 6 tablespoons of the canola oil and the sesame oil. Fold the beaten eggs into the matzo ball mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the sparkling water and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes, until they have softened a bit. Stir in the mushrooms and 3/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and steam the mushrooms for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered until the liquid in the pot evaporates. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, when ready to cook the matzo balls, bring about 3 quarts salted water to a rolling boil in a large pot over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and keep at a steady simmer. With wet hands, shape the matzo ball mix into 1- to 1 1/2-inch balls and gently drop them into the water. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the matzo balls are completely cooked and have puffed up. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the soup. Serve.

Text excerpted from Mexican Today, copyright 2016 by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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I've never seen matzoh ball soup with jalapeños before. Cool.

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